The following is a live, up to the minute game blog featuring the rookie tournament game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Â Remember to hit refresh for the latest updates.
Update: Lead head coach Dallas Eakins says that Jamie Devane will not play tonight. Â Says he went head first into the boards in a collision last night with a Blackhawks player. Â Eakins says tough guy Richard Greenop will draw into the lineup to make up for the muscle lost due to Devane’s injury. Â Ben Scrivens will start tonight for the Maple Leafs.
Update: Penguins PR man Erik Heasley is beside me in the press box ahead of tonight’s game between the Penguins and Leafs. Â The Leafs suite has emptied. Â The TV has been left on (don’t tell David Suzuki whatever you do.) Â Cliff Fletcher, however, remains in the building, sitting in the stands by himself.
Update: Warm up is set to begin here at the John Labatt Centre as fans continue to file in.
Update: Thiessen looks to be getting the start for the Penguins, his second of the tournament. Â Scrivens for the Leafs.
Update: Richard Greenop is crossing the centre ice line with regularity. Â Really, who will stop him? Â He is menacing. Â Michael Liambas draws in for Toronto as well, wearing #80
Update: Leafs hit the ice in the road whites again tonight. As Ken Beckett points out, Marcel Mueller is not on the ice. Â Coach Dallas Eakins praised Mueller’s play last night in the win over Chicago.
Update: Looks like Brayden Irwin, Simon Gysbers, and Kenny Ryan wearing the “A” for Toronto tonight.
Update: Stefanovich draws in for the Maple Leafs as well. Â He is wearing #63
Update: Looks like Zach Sill, Dustin Jeffrey, and Robert Bortuzzo wearing the “A” for the Penguins.
Update: Nicholls also draws into the lineup for the Leafs after sitting last night.
Update: Warm up is done here at the JLC. Â Puck drop at 7PM. Â For those interested in this stuff, Dale Mitchell was the last forward off the ice. Â Made sure to give a glove tap to all teammates.
Update: The Leafs suite looks like you couldn’t fit another body in there with a crowbar. Â Happening area, lots of suits. Â Looks like Burke, Nonis, Fletcher, and Tim Hunter among others have taken residency there for the game tonight.
Update: Thiessen and Scrivens confirmed the starters for tonight’s game.
Update: Five minutes from the drop of the puck here a the JLC
Update: The Leafs have hit the ice and the JLC crowd, which is largely pro Toronto, lets out a pretty good cheer.
Update: Puck Drop! Â Leafs start Irwin, Ryan, and Stefanovich up front. Â Blacker and Dallas Jackson the D pairing.
Update: First good chance of the game for Toronto blocked by Penguins forward Geoff Walker.
Update: A hard hit by Dustin Jeffrey of the Penguins. Â A player who doesn’t get nearly enough press. Â Major talent there. Â Leafs ice the puck for the second time in this young game.
Update: Penguins pushing the play early on as Leafs goalie Scrivens almost has one go through him. Â 16:40 left in the first.
Update: Penguins skaters seem committed to shot blocking early on. Â This time Blacker has a shot attempt thwarted by a sprawling body. Â Pressure on Leafs goalie Ben Scrivens but he is able to find the puck and cover for a whistle.
Update: Michael Liambas is on the ice for the first time.
Update: And the Leafs make it 1-0 on a wicked wrist shot from Brayden Irwin. Â He chipped the puck past McNeil and beat him on the outside before getting in and snapping it top shelf past Thiessen. Â 1-0 Toronto. Â 13 minutes in.
Update: Another great chance for Toronto right away as Carrick gets in but sends his shot wide. Â The Pens come right down again and get a few chances. Â Scrivens up to the task.
Update: Stefanovich picks up an assist on the goal by Irwin.
Update: Scrivens makes a big save point blank after the Leafs cough up the puck just outside the blue line. Â 1-0 Leafs with just about ten minutes played.
Update: Jeffrey tries a dipsy doodle for Pittsburgh inside the attacking zone but the Leafs defender Cowan plays it well. Â Play returns to the Leafs zone where Scrivens covers up for a whistle. Â A little pushing and shoving post whistle, nothing big.
Update: Leafs are getting a little sloppy in their own zone, and Pittsburgh is pressing to take advantage of that. Â Shots read 5-3 Pittsburgh with 7 minutes to play in the first.
Update: McKegg almost cashes in on a smart defensive play. Â His active stick led to a turnover and scoring chance. Â Thiessen up to the task. Â Still 1-0 Leafs.
Update: Penguins with a chance in close but Scrivens gets a shoulder on it before it can sneak top corner. Â He was working on hugging those posts this morning in the skate.
Update: Five minutes remain in the first. Â 1-0 Toronto on the goal by Brayden Irwin.
Update: Shot easily gloved by Thiessen. Â Attempt on goal from Erik Burgdoerfer.
Update: Mad scramble in front of the Leafs net. Â Scrivens made some good saves, then saw his goal stick go hurling in the air during the chaos. Â Stands his ground and keeps Toronto’s 1-0 lead in check. Â Just under three minutes to play in the opening period.
Update: Scrivens with a save on Tangradi who came bursting in off the wing. Â Rebound was there for the taking, but the Penguins sent it wide of the net.
Update: Nicholls hits the goal post on a two-on-one for Toronto. Â Nice pass from McKegg I think to give him the opportunity. Â Under two minutes to play in period one.
Update: And another near miss for Toronto on the deflection in front of the net. Â WIth 1:35 to play in the first the Leafs will go to the powerplay. Â Joey Haddad goes to the box for tripping.
Update: Final 30 seconds of the period ticking away. Â Leafs with a good chance on the powerplay but the point blast goes wide of the net. Â Good pressure by Toronto towards the end of the period, but they are unable to get the puck through traffic. Â The horn sounds to end the first period. Â The Leafs lead 1-0 on the goal by Brayden Irwin. Â Shots read 12-7 Pittsburgh after 20 minutes.
Update: Second period set to begin here in London. Â 1-0 Toronto on the goal by Irwin. Â Joey Haddad has 25 seconds left in his tripping minor.
Update: Am I blind or is there no Dallas Eakins behind the bench for Toronto tonight?
Update: Close call in front of the Penguins net, but Thiessen covers it up to stop play.
Update: Nice block by the Penguins player at the point that leads to a scoring chance on a partial break. Â Scrivens with the first stop, and Blacker with good defensive positioning to deny a second chance.
Update: In fact my sight is fine, or at least good enough to spot Dallas Eakins up in the Leafs suite with Burke and company.
Update: Bortuzzo with a chance, but Scrivens is up to the task. Â Big hit behind the Leafs net and we got a line brawl.
Update: Dave Cowan is the Leafs player down in a heap behind the net. Â Trainers are out to attend to him. Â Not sure if you saw, but Scrivens did a great job of shielding his fallen teammate from the melee that was ensuing in the area.
Update: Cowan up and helped off the ice by trainers. Â Looked to be clutching his one arm. Â It’s a five minute major and a game misconduct for Ryan Schnell, who doesn’t get to leave the ice before getting some heavy lip service from Michael Liambas.
Update: Greenop gets a laundry list of penalties, as does Schnell. Â Schnell gets five and Â a game. Â Greenop gets two for instigating, five for fighting, and a ten minute misconduct.
Update: Walker drives hard to the net and takes out Scrivens in the process. Â Looks like this game may get a little chippy Â before all is said and done. Â Walker is getting the gate. Â Made no attempt to miss Scrivens.
Update: Two great chances for Toronto. Â Slap shot form Irwin and a quick flip of the puck from the pinching Gysbers, but Thiessen is up the challenge. Â Leafs on the powerplay.
Update: Irwin, who is having a real strong game, sees his deflection goes off the post and wide off the net. Â Irwin with another chance in front but Thiessen stops that one too.
Update: Leafs now have one minute of 5-on-4 powerplay time. Â 13 minutes left in the game.
Update: Pittsburgh kills the penalty and we’re back to five a side hockey.
Update: Another questionable hit, this time on Dale Mitchell, and Michael Liambas comes to his teammates defense again. Â Good fight between Liambas and Sill, both landing some good shots. Â 1-0 Leafs still with about 11 minutes to go in the second period.
Update: Dallas Eakins has taken a seat in one of the empty sections of the arena alongside Keith Acton.
Update: Liambas gets two, a five, and a ten.
Update: And the Penguins tie the game 1-1 on a goal by Geoff Walker. Â Walker tipped the original shot on net and then followed his own rebound, walking around Scrivens and putting the puck in a wide open net.
Update: Penguins coming on strong after the goal. Â Peters and McNeil get helpers on the Penguins goal by Walker. Â 1-1 with 8 minutes to go in the second period.
Update: Great speed by the Penguins on a breakaway but Scrivens makes the save. Â He has 17 on the night. Â Marc-Andre Dorion will go the box, giving the Penguins a powerplay with six minutes left in the second.
Update: Great agility by Scrivens to come across the crease on a broken play that could have ended in a goal for Pittsburgh. Â Whistle for another fight. Â Tangradi drops the gloves and tangles with Andrew Crescenzi, and Tangradi gave him a pretty good thumping.
Update: Heavy collision involving Erik Burgdoerfer in the Leafs zone. Â He came off the ice limping.
Update: Yet another questionable hit, no I am not kidding. Â Bortuzzo goes to the box for a minor after sending Jerry D’Amigo face first into the boards. Â Leafs to the powerplay with 3 minutes left in the second. Â Bortuzzo gets two for boarding.
Update: Olden with some good speed gets a shot off followed up by a Stefanovich rebound chance. Â Thiessen makes both saves and covers for a whistle.
Update: Couple of big shot blocks for Pittsburgh on the powerplay. Â Leafs finally orchestrate a scoring chance, which is one again snuffed by Thiessen. Â He has made 16 saves so far tonight.
Update: The horn sounds to end the second period here in London, score is tied 1-1. Â Shots on goal read 23-18 in favour of the Penguins. Â A period no doubt marred by more than one questionable hits.
Update: Teams hit the ice for the third period. Â Drop of the puck about two minutes away.
Update: Leafs defenseman Dallas Jackson with a shot from the point goes wide of the net. Â Leafs D have been active, but aren’t getting pucks through.
Update: Joey Haddad to the box again. Â Hooking call gives the Leafs a powerplay and they get a chance right away. Â Kenny Ryan visibly cursing at himself after losing the handle on that one right in front of the Penguins net.
Update: Great chance for Carrick and Mitchell but the Penguins defense intercepts the cross ice pass. Â Nearly four minutes gone in the third period. Â Still 1-1.
Update: Shot by Despres goes just wide off the Leafs net. Â Five minutes gone in the third period.
Update: Good work down low by McKegg leads to a Leafs chance as Crescenzi tries to sneak one in past Thiessen, but hits the post. Â The Leafs will go back to the powerplay as Nick Peterson takes the feet out from the Leafs player in the boards behind the net. Â Leafs to the powerplay with just over 13 minutes left in regulation time, game still tied 1-1.
Update: Golden opportunity for Stefanovich in front, who tries to take advantage of a friendly bounce off the end boards. Â Leafs continue to move the puck well with the man advantage, but can’t cash in.
Update: Penguins get a shorthanded chance but fail to convert. Â Some great back checking by the Leafs to make the Pens players on the breakout as uncomfortable as possible.
Update: Play is stopped as the puck goes out of the playing surface. Â About half way done the third period. 10:51 remains in regulation.
Update: Bit of a broken play gives Mitchell a chance in front, but he is stopped by Thiessen. Â 9 minutes to play.
Update: Penguins will get a powerplay with 8:12 left in regulation. Â Jesse Blacker will go the box.
Update: Jump ball in the crease but somehow it stays out. Â That looked like it may have been in from my angle. Â Somehow, it is still 1-1. Â 6:43 left in regulation.
Update: Gysbers may well have pulled that off the goal line. Â Carrick with a great chance for the Leafs, but Thiessen again up to the task to keep it notted at 1 goal a piece.
Update: Puck is in the Leafs net, but the refs whistle went before hand. Â Close calls here in London, but still just the one goal each. Â 5:56 remains in regulation time.
Update: Five minutes remain in regulation, with the score still 1-1.
Update: Play is called offside. Â Just 3:54 remains in regulation, still tied 1-1. Â Shots read 30-23 in favour of Pittsburgh.
Update: Scrivens makes a big save but loses his footing after the save. Â Penguins had a good chance to take a lead, but Scrivens with a nice blocker save.
Update: Peterson streaks down the wing for the Penguins, but Scrivens is sound positionally and makes the save. Â Still 1-1. Â 2:22 left in regulation.
Update: Scrivens with a strong pad save on a directed shot. Â 1:44 left in the third period.
Update: Olden nearly converts on a shot in front of the net, but doesn’t get much on the shot. Â 1:23 remains.
Update: Last minute of play in regulation time.
Update: Dustin Jeffrey scores on Scrivens with 34.5 seconds left in regulation to give the Penguins a 2-1 lead in the game.
Update: A shame after the effort Scrivens gave tonight, that he lets up a soft one to end the game. Â He was out of position, not hugging the post, and Jeffrey backhanded the puck into the net.
Update: The final horn sounds and the Penguins defeat the Leafs 2-1 on a late goal by Dustin Jeffrey. Â Shots read 33-24 in favour of the Penguins.
Update: Here are the three stars. Â Brad Theissen (Penguins) Ben Scrivens (Maple Leafs) and Geoff Walker (Penguins)
So the Leafs drop their rookie tournament record to 1-1 with a loss to Pittsburgh. Â The Penguins move their record up to 2-0 with the win over the Leafs. Â Both teams are in action Tuesday night. Â The Leafs battle the Senators in the evening game, while the Penguins take on the Blackhawks in the matinee.